There's no sign that the Los Angeles Times is planning to correct, clarify or explain an embarrassingly negligent passage from this past week. On Tuesday (1/23/07), the Times published a front-page piece called, "Scant evidence found of Iran-Iraq arms link." In alleging that there are few Iranian arms in Iraq, the writers asserted (emphasis mine):
"During a recent sweep through a stronghold of Sunni insurgents here, a single Iranian machine gun turned up among dozens of arms caches U.S. troops uncovered."
As NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein wrote Tuesday, the Iranian government is a Shia government working in opposition to Sunnis in Iraq. (Even the writers of the article appear to know this.) Therefore, it should not be news that there are not a lot of Iranian machine guns turning up among Sunnis. As Mark reported, Keith Olbermann made an utter fool of himself on Tuesday by parroting the Times' line on his show. Asked Mark, "Would you (Keith) be stunned to be told that not much weaponry from Hamas supporters turns up in the hands of the Israelis?"
I wrote to the Times' Readers Rep this week. An assistant wrote back. Without divulging the specific contents of the reply, suffice it to say that his response pretty clearly indicated that the Times does not plan to address its negligence.
Can you say ... um ... lame?